WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –
Officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department have found and identified the child involved in the incident. The child is safe and is now with his parent. The investigation shows that the child was not in any danger during the incident.
Winston-Salem Police are looking for a young boy who was seen riding his bicycle on Bethabara Road on Tuesday afternoon. Police say a concerned person called authorities to report that boy was approached by three men in a red or rust four-door sedan. The witness told police the boy got into the car, leaving his bike behind.
"That's the part that concerns us. Even if you caught your child away from home, and [you] were going to make him come home... you think you would take the bike with you, and so that does bother us a little bit," said Lieutenant Rob Cozart, Winston-Salem Police Department. "Honestly, we are at a loss until somebody comes forward and tries to help us out."
Thomas Kitchene says he saw the little boy riding his bicycle down Bethabara Road earlier in the afternoon - once on his way to get lunch, and again on his way back home.
"On my way back through, they were right in this area, and it was a black male with a small child on a bike, and they were riding," explained Kitchene. "Just caught my attention because the child was kind of all over the lane so you had to watch for him."
He says his initial suspicion grew to concern, after learning the boy got into a car with three men and left his bike behind. Kitchene called police to report what he saw, hoping it might help. It's possibly a new tip for authorities who were first told the child was spotted alone.
Kitchene said, "It just doesn't add up."
It doesn't add up for police either.
"As long as there are these kinds of questions, like who this child way, who picked him up, then we are going to try to answer those and try to make sure the child is safe," said Lt. Cozart.
Reverend Jeff Jones leads Bethabara Moravian Church and says makes a habit out of keeping an eye on the kids in the neighborhood. And now that one of those kids is the center of a police investigation, he's doing whatever he can to help.
"I've been doing a lot of praying for this young child and hope that he is returned safely soon," explained Reverend Jones.
The young boy is described as a black male 6 to 9 years old, wearing black pants and a yellow or neon green shirt.
Two of the black men were described as heavy set with no additional description. One was described as regular build.
The child's bike was a blue and maroon colored Spider Man themed BMX style bike.
If you have any information that could help police call Winston-Salem Police at 336-773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.